Under the current rules, it may take up to six months to open a branch, for example a café. Moreover, the whole process is accompanied with a massive bureaucratic burden, the Hospodárske Noviny daily reported.
The Economy Ministry now plans to make changes and cut the process by two-thirds due to its third package of measures to support the business environment.
“We focused on simplifying the process for opening branches,” said Economy Minister Peter Žiga (Smer), as quoted by Hospodárske Noviny.
Martin Vlachynský, analyst with the economic think tank INESS, praised the package, saying that while the previous two packages contained measures focused on several fields, this one has a clearer target, the daily reported.
However, the political will to adopt fundamental changes to taxes and accountancy is still absent, he added.
The biggest package
The Economy Ministry presented 36 measures to remove unnecessary bureaucracy, which should help entrepreneurs save up to €70 million. It is the biggest package the ministry has introduced so far, according to Hospodárske Noviny.
The third package concentrates on the electronisation of services and making processes related to launching a business and opening branches more efficient, the ministry wrote in a press release.
More specifically, the ministry plans to introduce simpler rules when applying for permits, and fewer duties and certificates concerning, for example, sanitation or construction proceedings, since offices will find the necessary information in online databases.
“Our goal is to make business easier and reduce useless bureaucracy,” said Žiga, as quoted in the press release, adding that the new package will save time, energy, and money.
The first 32 measures are expected to be introduced before the end of 2019. Businesses should save €72.5 million in the first year, and later up to €76 million, the press release reads.
The first package, introduced in June 2017, contained 35 measures. The second package, comprising 23 measures and five tasks, has been in force since May of this year.
Ministries worked together on measures
The third package of measures should bring about uniform rules for those institutions, which entrepreneurs launching their business come into contact with the most, such as regional public health offices, construction offices, labour inspectorates, and regional branches of the Slovak Trade Inspection (SOI). These offices should publish checklists for starting entrepreneurs, which have not been introduced yet, and templates for required application forms.
The ministry prepared 11 measures in cooperation with the Public Health Authority. Businesspeople should not be required to apply for a permit to open a business with little or no health impact on employees. They should only have to send a notification. Regional public health authorities should not ask for documents, which can be obtained online from other institutions such as a property list, either.
Another six measures, prepared by the Transport Ministry, focus on the simplification of the construction procedure. It means, for example, a single application for changing the purpose of use for a building or naming the authorities that would have to submit their view in the construction procedure. Moreover, useless obligations for accommodation facilities such as the number of hangers in a hotel room should be scrapped, the Economy Ministry wrote in the press release.
Fewer documents and a second chance
The measures include a longer list of documents, which citizens should not have to present in communication with public offices and institutions since the data are available online, such as a confirmation of school visit. Also, employers would not have to sign off their former employees from a health insurance company.
New businesses should be automatically registered at the tax office and acquire a tax identification number.
The SOI should be allowed not to punish businesses, but to give them a second chance, in case of less severe violations of rules. It could reduce or forgo penalties if improvements were made for the benefit of consumers. SOI should also take into account a company's turnover when imposing a fine, the press release reads.
29. Nov 2018 at 13:47 | Compiled by Spectator staff